Saturday, October 15, 2016

Burns to Ontario to Glenns Ferry to Snowville. Then home.

We're home in Salt Lake City. Actually we've been home a week as of yesterday. We've cleaned the rig and its contents, celebrated granddaughter Mia's 7th birthday, gone to a movie for the first time in months (Sully), went out to dinner with friends, hiked a local canyon and walked, walked, walked the dogs.

We were gone 30 days, drove 2000 miles, and made 16 stops  -- many more than we normally make in 30 days. The longest we stayed anywhere was Yakima, where we parked four nights. We stayed three nights in Kennewick, WA; Beverly Beach, OR; Season's home in Stayton, OR; and Detroit Lake, OR.  We spent two nights each in Baker City, OR; Bend; OR; and Glenn's Ferry, ID. And we made overnight stays in eight other places. We figure we averaged $27 a night for camping spots. 

We talked about Bend, Oregon, in our last post. After Bend we drove to Burns, Oregon. Burns is the closest city to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge where armed militants seized the refuge for 41 days earlier this year. The trial for the militants is happening right now in Portland. If you are interested in the standoff that lead to their arrest, here is an informative link.

From Burns we drove east through potato and onion farms to Fruitland, Idaho, and the Neat Retreat RV Park.  We were just across the Oregon/Idaho border and very close to Ontario, Oregon.

Campgrounds in those two small towns seemed pricey. We spent $37 for a night the the Burns RV Park and $39 for one night in Fruitland. Both RV park owners were beyond helpful. Both said "take some" about the fruit on display in their offices: plums in Burns and apples in Fruitland. Both offered site choices and said "go take a look and let me know" instead of just assigning one like the larger RV campgrounds do. But the campgrounds were basic (although Fruitland had fast wifi) and I don't think they'd be able to charge nearly $40 a night if there was competition.

After that it was two days at one of our new favorite public parks: Three Island Crossing State Park in Glenns Ferry, Idaho.  We spent one night there at the beginning of our trip and decided we'd stop on our way back if it worked out. 

Three Island Crossing is one of two places where Oregon Trail pioneers crossed the Snake River. Before ferries were available, pioneers waded/swam/floated their horses/oxen/wagons across the Snake, going from island to island to get a breather.  Between1840 to 1850, 50,000 pioneers crossed at the three islands.

And our last stop:  Snowville, Utah, just seven miles across the Idaho border at the Earp and James RV Park.  Then it was an easy drive home the next morning.

(Mom: Click on any of the photos to make them larger.)

Our camping spot in Burns looks like a road but made it easy to pull through without unhooking the tow car. We were told it was the last available spot -- maybe because deer hunting season had just started? Burns is in the the middle of sparsely populated southeastern Oregon and looks prosperous. 
An onion field near Ontario, Oregon, with all these onions sitting on top of the ground like apples neatly fallen from trees.  A sign we saw near Ontario said local farmers ship one billion pounds of onions a year.

Our spot at the Neat Retreat RV Park in Fruitville, Idaho, just two miles from Ontario, Oregon.  Jim and I thought we'd never spent any time in Ontario. Then we drove into town and noticed a familiar looking restaurant. "Didn't we have dinner there once?" we asked each other.  We went to the Red Apple grocery store and it looked familiar too.  A trip down the memory lane of our minds and a blog search revealed that we'd previously been to Ontario in 2003 and 2014. 

Our camping spot at Three Island Crossing State Park in Glenns Ferry.  The campground was mostly empty (one of the joys of midweek camping), but one night a couple in a tent-on-top-of-a truck parked next to us.  In all our travels we had never seen a contraption like that.

Jim paddling in the Snake River in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. The town is named for Gustavus Glenn, who built a ferry boat nearby in 1869. I dropped Jim off at a small pier in town; he paddled around the islands the pioneers used as stepping stones to cross the river before the ferry was available.

A volunteer at the Three Island State Park interpretive Center (standing in front of a photo of the Snake and the islands pioneers used to cross the river.)  She told us five generations ago her pioneer aunt crossed the Snake, gave birth to a baby girl the next day (near what is now the Interpretive Center) and then resumed walking the day after that.

Jim and the dogs with one of the original ferries that floated pioneers and later heavy freight across the Snake River.  Toll fee in 1878 was $1.50 for one wagon and two horses, mules or oxen. Jim's great-grandmother took the Oregon Trail from Missouri to the Willamette Valley; when we are near the trail we always wonder if we're stepping where she did.
On our way west our first stop was at the Earp and James RV Park in Snowville, Utah, where we were greeted by two goats.  I didn't get a photo so I had my camera ready when we stopped again on our way back.  This time, however, we were greeted by a cat who "heeled" next to my left leg all the way to our rig and back to the office.
We got to our campground in Snowville, Utah, at 3 p.m. and were the only ones there.  By 10 p.m. we had six neighbors.

Maddie:  Keeping us safe from squirrels, mice and other varmints since 2015.  The above was her "spot" and it now needs some upholstery cleaner.

1 comment:

  1. Bev, don’t worry about the collective lapse of memory in Ontario. The fact that you eventually did remember indicates it is more a case of Halfzheimer’s than it’s more critical companion condition.

    Speaking as your medical expert, (yes, I know you have other sources, but really what is all that education really good for) I think you need to embrace your lack of recollection less as an affliction and more as creative forgetfulness.

    That way every place you visit will be a new adventure (your blog postings might become a little repetitive, but that too is OK because as soon as you noticed that you are repeating yourself; you’ll forget). Also, if you’ve ever said or done something you regret, no problem. It never happened. And, wouldn’t it be nice that every time that you enter your house, you can turn to Jim and say “This is a nice place, we should buy it!”

    Of course because I would hate to embarrass you, I won’t even go into the excitement that you would have in waking up each morning next to a man you don’t know.